The most honest and in-depth reviews of outdoor sports equipment on the planet.

2013-2014 Blister ‘Best Of’ Awards — Part 4

Best Of, Blister Gear Review.

Previously, we took a look at some of the best women’s skis and best park skis we’ve seen. Our last category definitely inspired the most debate around here, because it’s such a multi-dimensional category about self-expression, all over the mountain. But at the end of the day, the criteria was to find a ski that could handle big mountain lines, park laps, backcountry kickers, trees, and bumps, and groomers—whether skiing fairly agressively, or just poking around the mountain, and whether the snow is great or not. The winners?

 

Best All-Mountain Jib Skis

• LINE Sir Francis Bacon

 Best Of Awards, Blister Gear Review.
Given its low swing weight and progressive, symmetrical flex, the Sir Francis Bacon is the ski that fits the above criteria nearly to a tee. And not only can the Bacon handle everything we’ve listed, it’s playful in every setting.

 

• Salomon Rocker2 108

Two Ski Quiver, Blister Gear Review.

The Rocker2 108 is more soft-snow oriented and more directional than the SFB, and it won’t feel as comfortable in the park. But it was still one of the most fun skis we’ve tested over the past three seasons—whether or not you’re flipping or spinning.

 

Serious Contender Alert:

• Blizzard Peacemaker

Best Of Awards, Blister Gear Review.

We have this ski in hand, we’re just about to start putting time on it, and we think it has a very serious shot to top this list. There’s nothing particularly dramatic about the Peacemaker, and in this category, that’s a good thing. It doesn’t have a ton of camber, it doesn’t have a lot of tip and tail rocker, it’s not super soft, nor is it overly stiff. In short, it looks like it might have a shot to be as good as the all-time great in the category, namely…

 

Throwing Down the Gauntlet

• 11/12 Rossignol Sickle

Blister Best Of, Blister Gear Review.

We’re breaking our own rules here to discuss a discontinued ski, because we’ve never seen a better ski in this category. And to any company out there that builds a ski exactly like the 11/12 Sickle, we promise to give you the top spot on this list next year.

 

On that note, we conclude the first Blister ‘Best Of’ Awards. There will certainly be more categories next year, and we can’t wait to find out which new skis will earn their way on to our list. One thing’s for sure, it’ll be fun to find out.

12 Comments

  1. Jaakko Järvensivu November 27, 2013 Reply

    Any views on the new 193 Blizzard Gunsmoke?

    • Jason November 28, 2013 Reply

      Unfortunately, no, we haven’t been on the 193 yet. I did spend most of last spring riding the 2014 186, and you can find that review on the site.

  2. Doug Borg November 27, 2013 Reply

    I’ve read your exploits about the sickle for a few years now. It was on steep and cheap recently for a great price. Just got new skis so really don’t have a need, but almost bought them untested based on your reviews. Begs the question… Why discontinued??

    • mmkarb February 16, 2014 Reply

      too narrowly marketed. I bought them untested after reading the reviews. Spent four days in Copper’s bowls this past two weeks and you had to pry me from there because I was having so muh fun. Took them on front slopes when it was groomed and hard-packed snow and still could carve tem perfectly. Took a bit more work than carving skis but not much. Wish I pickd up more as I’m always looking at slightly used ones

  3. m November 27, 2013 Reply

    I’m intrested how Icelantic Nomad rkr would do in this category. And why kästle west xx110 did not get to this list?

    • Jason November 29, 2013 Reply

      We’d love to get on some of Icelantic’s skis, but haven’t had many come through the door for testing. As for the West, it is a great ski that definitely does well in a few areas, but in the end just doesn’t fit the bill as well as the above skis.

  4. Rob November 28, 2013 Reply

    Hi,

    Any update on when the Peacemaker review might get published? I need to buy skis in the next couple of weeks and won’t have a chance to demo. I’m choosing between the Bacon and the Peacemaker, so any early comparisons would be super useful.

    Thanks!

    • Jason November 29, 2013 Reply

      Rob, I will be on the peacemaker this coming week. The full review certainly won’t be out for a few weeks, but I’ll try to get a little preliminary report up asap. I also have the new 190 Bacon right now, so you can bet I’ll be going back and forth on these skis.

  5. Blister Member
    Motown December 2, 2013 Reply

    Not exactly related to this, but I wasn’t sure whereelse to post… any chance you guys are planning to test out a pair of garywayne skis this winter? The shapes are extremely interesting, and I’d love to hear some feedback from someone who isn’t tied to the company in any way.

  6. Blister Member
    dennis December 2, 2013 Reply

    Bacon killed it at Wolf Creek, a jib park masquerading as a ski area. What a playground. Nov 15 after a midweek storm, entire mountain opened to untracked pow. 6 to 12 inches on Alberta face, 12 to 16 inches on Waterfall area steeps, 6 inches of cream back to the lifts, Bacon was smooth, easy and fun, in and out of trees, hopping off logs and other small features. Nov 29 soft bumps, firm bumps, hard pack, courderoy, rolled edge to edge without effort. Stable carving and slarving, my preference. Crud, chop, glistening untracked meringue, no problem. I really like the longer active edge, feeling the edge at the tip and tail. Last year skied armada JJ, previously Ist gen K2 obsethed, way back Head monster 88. Bacon feels like the 88 updated to rocker. Missed the 42 inch storm before Thanksgiving, so I can’t say how it will perform in super deep. On 184 at 5’7″ 175 lbs. Thanks Jason

  7. Jean-Luc December 9, 2013 Reply

    2 years ago, I was lucky to demo the Sickle during a trip to Snowbird. This was a few days of pure joy and not knowing anything about these skis, I went on the internet to discover your review.and bought them immediately! Thank You very much and BTW, all my skiing buddies now ride Sickles!
    My spouse, who sees how nice it is to ski on the Sickles, would like to get a pair but… we can’t find them anymore here in EU and even the small size would be too much for her.
    What would be a good alternative to the Sickles for a woman mid 50′ (yes we are older folks), 5’4 tall, more traditional skiing (e.g. no carving, no high speed), enjoying well finished short/medium turns but looking for a pair of skis that would help her handle all snow conditions (she currently rides Volkl AC4 Unlimited from 2006).
    Thanks for your help.
    JL

  8. ErikK February 16, 2016 Reply

    Interesting set of skis. I’m curious why the Billy Goat didn’t thrown on the list. I currently ski the 112 Steeple for my backcountry setup and find it to be one of the easiest yet most stable skis I have had the pleasure of owning.

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